Group for Experimental Methods in Humanistic Research
at Columbia University

Digital Grainger: An Online Edition of The Sugar-Cane 1764

  • Kimberly Takahata

Digital Grainger: An Online Edition of The Sugar-Cane 1764 is an digital edition of the 1764 edition of James Grainger’s georgic poem “The Sugar-Cane.” The work of a Scottish physican and writer who lived in St. Kitts during the mid-eighteenth century, “The Sugar-Cane” primarily presents itself as a set of instructions to Caribbean planters, meditating on enslavement, natural productions, sugar cane processing, and the British empire over the course of its 168 pages.

This edition is designed for teaching undergraduate classes. As such, our project aims to transcribe the poem into modern typography while maintaining Grainger’s original footnotes. Additionally, we will include editorial footnotes that contextualize Grainger’s sources, map locations, and supplement descriptions about the flora and fauna referenced in the poem. The resulting bibliography will serve as a further resource for students. This work builds on the two modern editions of the poem: Thomas Krise’s Caribbeana (1999) and John Gilmore’s The Poetics of Empire (2000).

We will transcribe the original poem in Markdown and create a website for the edition using Ed. The project will launch in the summer of 2018. It is supported by research funds from Columbia University and Fordham University.